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Warner, Fox Partner for New Digital Initiative

28 Feb, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Cloud-based download platform would be compatible with UltraViolet

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Feb. 28 said they have partnered to create an easier way for consumers to organize, store and transport high-definition movies and TV shows downloaded from the Internet across multiple devices, including connected Blu-ray Disc players.

Dubbed “Project Phoenix,” the cloud-based UltraViolet initiative enables consumers to download copy-protected HD movies and TV shows to local and portable hard drives — including USB flash drives, SD cards and solid state disk drives (SSDs) — and then access content online or offline on a connected TV, laptop, Blu-ray player, tablet computer, mobile phone or video game console.

The devices would be licensed by the newly formed Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) LLC, which has members that include SanDisk and Irvine, Calif.-based hard drive manufacturer Western Digital, Fox and Warner.

The SCSA-licensed content would be available digitally or as digital files bundled with Blu-ray Disc combo packs, licensed kiosk vendors and related digital delivery systems.

"Through the SCSA, we will accelerate the development of products that will make it easy for the consumer to download, store and playback their high-definition digital movies and TV shows, in full 1080p, on any SCSA-optimized device at home and on the go,” said Darcy Antonellis, president of Warner Bros. Technical Operations.

SCSA-licensed content would be compatible with the industry-backed UltraViolet cloud digital storage platform, which primarily is based on physical media. Backers say digitally-stored content could be accessed 10 times faster than streamed content from over-the-top services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.

Indeed, with subscription video-on-demand services proliferating, Warner and Fox eye the new digital initiative as a means for consumers to access stored personal and third-party digital video content more efficiently.

“We see ‘Project Phoenix’ as a key component of the emerging digital ecosystem,” said Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The SCSA expects its platforms to be widely available for license this year.

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